Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: September 2, 2011

Kansas Trail News for September 2, 2011 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Covered Bridge Nearing Completion

Larry Ross with Prairie Travelers which manages the eight-mile-long Prairie Sunset Trail (www.prairietravelers.org) reports that the Cecile Kellenbarger Memorial Covered Bridge is nearing completion just east of Garden Plain (west of Wichita). The bridge is being constructed to honor Cecile Kellenbarger who died earlier this year, and was instrumental in building the Prairie Sunset Trail. When completed there will be two covered bridges on rail-trails in Kansas. The other covered bridge is north of Marysville on the Blue River Rail Trail.

Osage City Trail Work Day A Success

Karen DeOrnellas, Lyco Division Superintendent with the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, reports that “about 35 people turned out as volunteer trail builders on a hot Sunday, July 31, in Osage City to clean up the Flint Hills Trail section in the city. Dump trucks, tractors, trailers, pole saws, chain saws and loppers were operated by a diverse group of folks with a desire to make the trail a usable route to hike, bike and ride. By the end of the day that’s exactly what had happened. A couple remaining challenges are the lack of a trail crossing over the active BNSF line and a small open tie bridge needing a solid deck. Both can be bypassed without detouring a great distance. The day also awakened an interest in the trail and it’s anticipated that local coordinators will continue the work begun on July 31.”

Virgil Scheid, Osage County Superintendent, reports that crushed limestone screenings are now down on the Flint Hills Trail from the new US 75 pedestrian/bike bridge to one mile west of the bridge. So, now there is an eight-mile continuous stretch of completed trail between the trailhead southeast of Vassar (south of Pomona Lake) to one mile west of the bridge.

TE Program May End

From the Lawrence Journal-World (8-04-11):

“One way the city has paid for brick street projects in the past is through a state/federal program called Transportation Enhancement Grants. In addition to brick streets, Lawrence has used the grant to help restore the Union Pacific Depot, build the Burroughs Creek Rail Trail, the Clinton Parkway Shared-Use Path, and other projects. But it looks like that will be the case no more.

The state has announced funding concerns, especially at the federal level, means they won’t accept any grant applications for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years. City Manager David Corliss said he’s not planning for the grant program to return. That may be a blow to the efforts of a group of Lawrence residents to restore the Santa Fe Depot in East Lawrence. A Transportation Enhancement grant was one of the leading candidates to fund the several hundred thousand dollars in repairs needed to the building at Seventh and New Jersey streets.”

Landon Trail In Topeka Update

Construction on the Landon Trail within the city limits of Topeka continues to be on schedule. The concrete 10-foot-wide path is now completed to SE 37th St. and Kansas Ave. The City leases 4.6 miles of the 38-mile Landon Nature Trail from Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy. When completed, the Landon Trail in Topeka will stretch between near S.E. 17th and Monroe and S.W. 45th and Topeka Boulevard.

Be A Facebook Friend Of The Flint Hills Trail

Become a friend of Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy on Facebook and get up-to-date information about the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Landon Nature Trail.

Flint Hills Trail Progress

Scott Allen and Karen DeOrnellas with KRTC report that once limestone screenings are installed on two sections of the Flint Hills Nature Trail totaling about three miles and two bridges are railed, mt. bikers and equestrians will be able to travel nearly 55 miles from Council Grove east to past Vassar (south of Pomona Lake). Funds still has to be found to complete the two sections.

Bike Club At Lawrence School

Lawrence’s Prairie Park School now has a bike club to encourage students to exercise for health. No other details are available at this time.

Kanza To Hold Annual Meeting

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy will be holding its Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 5 in the Osage County Senior Center in Osage City (604 Market Street). All trails enthusiasts are invited to attend. A reception will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a light lunch buffet at 11:30. The meeting will follow the lunch.

Western Sky Trail Update

Larry Ross, Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy President, reports that “the recent meeting in Chanute indicated that people are eager to build the Western Sky Trail between Chanute and Fredonia. Local people have volunteered to be Project Manager, Public Information Specialist (spokesperson) and Director of Development (fundraiser).” An Eagle Scout may organize a digital survey of the corridor. The 23-mile out-of-service rail corridor was recently railbanked by the Conservancy.

Prairie Spirit Trail Designated “Trail Of The Month”

The Prairie Spirit Trail was designated the Trail of the Month for August by the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. According to the website www.railtrails.org, the trail “offers visitors a taste of rural, middle America at its finest—rolling pastures, lazy streams, wooded ravines, friendly townspeople, colorful wildflowers, big farms and an endless sky.” For more information go to railstotrails.org.

Blue River Rail Trail Progress

Steve O’Neal with Marshall County Connections reports that limestone screenings have been laid for an additional three miles of the Blue River Rail Trail. This makes a total of five miles with crushed limestone. “Trail users are already using the new section, says O’Neal. “This is a very scenic trail segment and will be very popular.” When completed, the trail will stretch 13 miles north to the Nebraska state line where it will join with the Homestead Trail now under development to Lincoln.

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc., P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-3458. Reprinted with permission. If you have any trail news you’d like to share, please contact us.

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By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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